By Jim Chilsen, CUB Director of Communications
When I heard the sad news that former CUB Board President William R. “Randy” Fritz had passed away, I remembered my old friend’s booming laugh at the the many CUB events we had attended across Illinois.
Randy was a member of our board for about 15 years, including a stint as board president, from 2000-2007.
I was a CUB rookie when Randy was president—and we were both eager to prove ourselves as consumer advocates. Seeing his gift for gab, I sent Randy on several media tours to spread CUB’s money-saving message. A less committed person may have seen these tours as a forced march—but not Randy. After one 19-city adventure, he wrote:
“Any drive through our state is interesting. My friends in the west are constantly talking about how ‘boring’ Illinois is (their word, not mine), but such is not the case…I love doing this.”
Randy didn’t get rich off a high school teacher’s salary, but he supported CUB’s fight for fair and affordable utility rates. Plus, he wrote, the teacher in him couldn’t resist:
“I constantly tell my students…that they must be active citizens if they want democracy to be preserved. I decided I’d better practice what I preach.”
Even after he left the board in 2013, Randy regularly emailed CUB with questions and encouragement. Just 12 days before his passing, he praised our new Gas & Electric Guide with a one-word email: “NICE!”
That was just like my old friend to get the last word in! Randy, I’m grateful for the lessons you taught us at CUB. Thank you for being such a good friend to Illinois consumers!
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